Parkinson's disease affects about half a million people in the United States. New research identifies biomarkers that could predict the cognitive impairment typical of this neurodegenerative disease. Parkinson's disease (PD) is "the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's disease," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the U.S., approximately 50,000 people receive a PD diagnosis every year. Additionally, 500,000 Americans are estimated to be living with PD. While there is no cure for PD, there are therapies that aim to slow down the advancement of the disease. Usually, however, PD is diagnosed when the symptoms become apparent, by which time the neurons affected have already been lost. This reduces the effectiveness of treatments that aim to delay PD's progression. As the National Institutes of Health (NIH) explain, having "measurable indicators" of the disease - or biomarkers - could improve the efficacy of potential … [Read more...] about Biomarkers for cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s revealed
Squalamine, a chemical compound found in dogfish sharks, has the potential to reduce the formation of toxic proteins related to the development of Parkinson's disease, new research suggests. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study reveals that squalamine halted the buildup and toxicity of the protein alpha-synuclein (α-synuclein) in roundworm models of Parkinson's disease and human neuronal cells. Parkinson's disease is a progressive condition characterized by tremors, movement problems, limb stiffness, and problems with balance and coordination. In the United States, up to 1 million people are living with Parkinson's, and each year, approximately 60,000 people in the country are diagnosed with the disease. While the precise causes of Parkinson's remain unclear, studies have suggested that the buildup of α-synuclein in the brain could play a role in its development. In people with Parkinson's, α-synuclein forms "clumps" that … [Read more...] about Parkinson’s could be treated with shark compound, study suggests
A new study finds that compared to healthy controls, people with Parkinson's disease appear to have distinctly different gut bacteria. They have hardly any bacteria from one family and the amount present from another family seems to increase with disease severity. The study, led by the University of Helsinki Institute of Biotechnology in Finland, is published in the journal Movement Disorders. It involved 72 patients with Parkinson's disease and an equal number of matched, healthy controls. More and more studies are discovering the huge influence that our gut bacteria - which vastly outnumber the cells of our body - have on our health: when they get sick, we get sick. Parkinson's disease is a progressive motor disorder that develops when the brain loses cells that produce dopamine - a chemical that controls reward and pleasure and also regulates movement and emotional responses. Parkinson's symptoms include trembling, stiffness, slowness of movement and problems with … [Read more...] about Study links Parkinson’s disease to gut bacteria
A number of recent studies suggest that dietary nicotine might have the ability to slow the progress of Parkinson's disease. If this is proven to be the case, it could pave the way to safe and effective treatments for the disease. In this article, we will take a look at one of the studies that has found a link between nicotine and Parkinson's and uncover why this relationship might exist. Parkinson's disease is a progressive condition that affects the brain, increasingly disrupting the way that it works. It is the second most common degenerative disease of the brain, after Alzheimer's disease. There are 60,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. Parkinson's disease causes disruptions in movement and coordination because of degeneration in the central nervous system. The disease is caused by the loss of brain cells that produce dopamine, an important chemical messenger (neurotransmitter). Men have a 50 percent higher risk of developing the disease compared to women. … [Read more...] about Can Dietary Nicotine Help Fight Parkinson’s Disease?
Neurologists in the US suggest irregular arm swings while walking could be an early sign of Parkinson's disease and scientific measurement of such a suspected symptom could help diagnose the disease earlier, giving greater opportunity to slow brain cell damage and disease progression.Gait and Posture. Both groups had comparable gait velocities. There was no significant difference between the Parkinson's group and the control group in the size of arm swing in all walking conditions for the arm that swung more or less. However, what was striking was that compared to the control group, the Parkinson's group showed significantly greater asymmetry in their arm swing (one arm swung significantly less than the other while walking). The Parkinson's group asymmetry angle was 13.9 ± 7.9 per cent compared to 5.1 ± 4.0 per cent for the control group (p = 0.003). When the participants walked faster, the arm swing increased but the amount of asymmetry stayed the same. Huang and … [Read more...] about Irregular Arm Swing Could Be Early Sign Of Parkinson’s
But it’s quite possible that even getting up to perform chores every day, parking at the back of the lot at work, or going for a walk around the block each evening could play a big role in reducing your risk of Parkinson’s disease. In fact, it’s possible that an hour of moderate activity every day could greatly reduce your risk. A recent study followed 43,000 men and women in Sweden for an average of 12 years. Only nine had Parkinson’s when they enrolled, and almost 300 had developed it by the end of the study. The researchers learned that a medium amount of daily physical activity—like household chores or walking to work—reduced the risk of Parkinson’s substantially. People who got six hours of moderate activity per week had a 43% lower risk than those who got fewer than two. Now, although there was a link between activity and Parkinson’s risk, this study does not prove cause and effect. Parkinson’s is a very difficult disease … [Read more...] about Parkinson’s: Reduce Your Risk in Just One Hour a Day
Since its discovery, Parkinson’s disease has baffled most doctors. There is no cure for the condition and until recently, it was unknown what caused it and how, or if, it could be cured or prevented. Currently, there are medications and methods to control the condition, but generally speaking, people with Parkinson’s have little hope of avoiding the difficulties it creates and its degenerative effects. Parkinson’s affects more than half a million people in the United States, most notably the well-known actor and Parkinson’s advocate, Michael J. Fox. Following Fox’s career, it becomes clear what Parkinson’s does and how it can quickly change a person’s life. Ultimately, Parkinson’s takes over a person’s ability to control their body. It is a degenerative condition that attacks nerve cells in the brain by releasing dopamine, a chemical responsible for movement. Symptoms often include seemingly spastic movements, like head nods and … [Read more...] about Doctors Now One Step Closer to Preventing Parkinson’s
In a new twist on the Parkinson’s medication front, studies are now showing that two drugs targeting the condition can actually result in an unexpected condition: heart valve damage. These surprising findings have just been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, were researchers from two studies looked at the drugs “Permax” (Eli Lilly & Co.) and “Dostinex” (Pfizer Inc.) to see what effects they had on the heart. Both drugs are available in generic form: Permax (pergolide) and Dostinex (cabergoline). It turns out that they can cause the same type of heart damage as the now infamous dieting drug “Fen-Phen” caused after patients withdrew from it. Specifically, these two drugs leave patients with a higher risk of experiencing heart valve damage, as opposed to those individuals who use other therapies. In the one study, researchers looked at records on 11,417 patients, and in the other they looked at tests on 245 … [Read more...] about Are These Two Parkinson’s Drugs Safe for Your Heart?
As strange as it may sound, it turns out that certain personalities could be more at risk for Parkinson’s disease than others are. The actor Michael J. Fox brought this disorder into the spotlight in 1998 with a public announcement that he suffered from Parkinson’s. Even though Fox was only about 30 at the time of his diagnosis, this neurological disorder is usually diagnosed after the age of 50. Parkinson’s destroys or impairs nerve cells in the part of the brain that controls muscle movement, causing intermittent trembling, muscle stiffness, slow movement, difficulty maintaining balance, and problems with walking and coordination. These symptoms become worse over time. However, there are treatments for the disease, and research continues to look into its cause. A recent British study actually aimed at looking into the roles of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine in protection from the disease. Yes, I did say, “protection from.” It has … [Read more...] about Could Your Character Put You at Risk for Parkinson’s?
Did you know there are many celebrities with chronic illnesses? Selena Gomez, Tom Hanks, Charlie Sheen, Michael J Fox, Lena Dunham, Pink, George Clooney, Kim Kardashian, Jack Osbourne, Venus Williams, Halle Berry, and even rapper Lil Wayne are all sufferers of known chronic illnesses like diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and HIV, among others. What’s it like for these celebrities to cope with their conditions while living highly public and stressful lives? Read on to find out. Selena Gomez, Lupus Selena Gomez is one of the biggest pop stars in the world, but life is not always glamorous, even for her. The former Disney star and “Kill Em with Kindness” singer battles the autoimmune disease known as lupus, undergoing chemotherapy to help treat it. Although her condition was kept private for years, Gomez decided to take a break from music in 2013 and checked into a rehab facility in 2014 to spend some time on herself. Taking care of oneself is very important … [Read more...] about Celebrities with Chronic Illnesses: Selena Gomez Lupus, Tom Hanks Diabetes, Charlie Sheen HIV, Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Disease